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Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Posted by Tricia at 12:47 PM
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
This past weekend, Tricia Steele and I traveled to Charlotte, NC to take part in yet another Collegiate Network conference. This is the organization that has given the journal a generous printing grant. At this particular event, students from all over the South met to share their experiences concerning the production of independent college publications. The weekend conference consisted of several workshops ranging from "Business Management" to "Ethics." Many tutorials not only offered indispensable advice, but outlined practical ways in which to accomplish the professional goal of publishing independently. To help students visualize this and the potential long-term success that might come about in the discipline of letters, several notable journalistic professionals were enlisted to speak to the student body.
One notable impression was made by Anne Carson Daly who is the Vice President for Academic Affairs from Belmont Abbey College and was a former Director of Policy Communications for Pfizer. Her speech, "What Does it Mean? Why Words Matter," particularly resonated with the philosophically-inclined students in the audience--those who are always eager to engage in discussions regarding the nature of language.
The underlying sentiment of her talk revolved around the activity of language, the concrete meaning that words hold, and the responsibility bestowed upon those who take on the role of distributing knowledge and information. Daly holds that those who choose to do so have a duty to be as transparent as possible as well as being responsible for the ignition of intellectual curiosity.
Working from the Platonic model of the Forms, Daly called her young audience to action: words have meaning behind them that ought to be acknowledged and protected. For her, language is not arbitrary, but vital and rich with meaning. Words point to the best of things and it is with this understanding that we create substance out of this world. As conductors of language we should embrace this role and view our duty as something sacred.
The future of Arete rests upon such philosophical vigor. It is our intention to express the temporal through a philosophical lens. We want people to understand the philosophical workings and implications of all things, no matter how minute they may originally appear. Such a lens gives individuals the tools to work past the immediate trappings of circumstance toward the greater things in life that hold ultimate value. Those are the things that we desire to express and protect. We hope that our ideas are infectious, controversial, and compelling. This aim, coincidentally, could not be possible without the basic understanding of how one word's meaning holds the potential to shape an idea, a movement, a mind, or a soul.